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Will an A-Rod-fueled Yankees-run do “immeasurable harm” to the game?

Sep 11, 2013, 1:01 PM EDT

Alex Rodriguez Reuters Reuters

Peter Gammons is one of the reasonable ones when it comes to PEDs and A-Rod and stuff. You’ll rarely if ever hear him going on about A-Rod being history’s greatest monster (Gammons actually likes Rodriguez). Maybe it’s smarts, maybe it’s experience, maybe it’s both, but Gammons tends to have some perspective about these things. He remembers ballplayers snorting cocaine and drinking and popping amphetamines and stuff and is among the last to say that the sky is falling.

Today’s Gammons column, then, does cause me to raise an eyebrow.  It’s a good column — he continues to engage in reason and doesn’t do what so many other columnists do and try to find the newest, freshest ways to make A-Rod out as Satan — but one passage does make me wonder. After noting that A-Rod is playing because he has earned his right of appeal, and noting that MLB probably dreads him in the postseason, Gammons says:

And if somehow he takes off on a month-long tear and heroically carries the Yankees into a one game post-season date with the Rangers, of all teams, he will have done immeasurable harm to the game that he plays so well, a game that provided him the stage he so embraces.

I agree that MLB will hate such a thing (at least when they aren’t paying attention to the TV ratings), but I disagree on the “harm to the game” part. If anything, I think A-Rod playing these past few weeks has done more to help the game than anything. No, not because A-Rod himself is helpful. That’s silly. But helpful because now he is a mere ballplayer. He’s not a symbol. He’s not a martyr. He’s not a monster. He’s not a source of day-in, day-out public scorn like he was over most of the summer. He’s just a ballplayer.

A ballplayer that can look bad at times. A ballplayer that has looked good at times. But a ballplayer who is, by necessity, subordinate to the game. No matter what he does, if the Yankees can’t get good pitching, his season is going to end in September. No matter how good the pitching is, if A-Rod gets hurt or struggles or shows that at 38 his bat just can’t get around on fastballs anymore, he will necessarily be humbled. Even if the Yankees do make an October run, it will be because of many moving parts and good fortune, not because of A-Rod.

We’ve made too much of sports heroes in the past, elevating them to such heights that they’re above the games they play. We’ve tended to do the same thing with sports villains too, making them out to be monsters who can destroy the games they play. Truth is, they can’t. The game will level it all out. Or make the heroes or villains anonymous in the way it is so good at doing.

No one is really talking about A-Rod now, even when he plays. That shows you that the game is just fine, thank you.

  1. proudlycanadian - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    Every stretch run needs a villain to make it interesting.

  2. chiadam - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    I’m pretty sure Calcaterra has an “Alex Rodriguez is not a monster” column template. Cut a name here, paste this over there, and ready for print.

    • cur68 - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      Yeah, I’m pretty sure he had to make one after Lupica et al’s 10th or 12th “ARod is a monster” column made it to print.

    • moogro - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:19 PM

      I haven’t watched the game film on that, but I’m pretty sure Craig’s writings have never been printed.

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 11, 2013 at 3:48 PM

      I too tire of the incessant Alex Rodriquez, PED bullshit. In fact, I would love it if C.C. never wrote another article with the words Alex Rodriquez, Arod and/or PED’s included.
      I am also far from a member of the C.C. “fan club”…as you referenced it.
      But the way I handle this is simply NOT to comment on it.
      In fact, other than the title I don’t normally read the articles.
      So thanks a lot Man.
      Between you and Bostonmurph I couldn’t help myself. I broke my rule and commented.

  3. bostonmurph - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    I wonder if Calcaterra ever is able to start a post with an original thought of his own, or if he only comments on subjects and articles written by someone else first.

    • nbjays - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:22 PM

      I wonder if you have something baseball related to add to the discussion or if you only bitch about the writers of this blog.

      • bostonmurph - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:31 PM

        you must be his mom

    • Jason @ IIATMS - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:24 PM

      You know it’s a blog, a platform to read, react, interact… right? That’s part of the writer’s gig, is to respond to stuff written by others, in addition to the creation of original content, analysis, perspective, etc.

      • bostonmurph - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:32 PM

        and you must be his dad?

      • Old Gator - Sep 11, 2013 at 2:08 PM

        I’m sure Craig is much better informed about his parentage than you are.

      • chiadam - Sep 11, 2013 at 3:10 PM

        And then we react to what he says, followed by his fan club harpooning everyone that is tired of his constant Alex Rodriguez ramblings. It’s shocking how everyone is so lockstep with this clown. No one here ever called Rodriguez history’s greatest monster. If Lupica did, take it up with him directly. Or don’t. I don’t give a fuck. Just shut up already.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:34 PM

      This is a blog. “Blog” is a shortened form of the word “weblog.” Which developed, quite literally, a log of what the author is reading and his or her thoughts on the matter at hand.

      We’ve never pretended to be anything other than a blog. If you don’t like the format, well, go write your own site. But please don’t be so arrogant that you feel you can tell me what I should do with mine.

      • bostonmurph - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:40 PM

        hahahahahahahahaha…. i think it is absolutely hysterical that you actually reply to someone’s comment criticizing you!! hahahahahahaha

      • mornelithe - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:46 PM

        Actually Craig, it’s a blog, with an open forum, so he can really do anything he pleases, just like you feel the need to play contrarian to virtually every negative A-Rod article out there. It’s fine, I understand it. The passions that revolve around A-rod are high and both sides want their opinions to be heard, which makes every article you post regarding it, a magnet to both sides.

        I mean, as you said before when people questioned the A-Rod love, people are still interested in the articles, and still have strong feelings about it, which is confirmed by the web hits you say are still numerous. If you don’t like the responses, well, chalk it up to the repercussions of the go-to hit story, a-la A-Rod.

      • yankee172 - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:53 PM

        Not to drag politics into this, but bostonmurph – have you ever commented over at the Fox News website? You genuinely sound like someone who’d fit right in over there.

        “Terrible comment”
        –> “Genuine response”
        ——>”Non-sequitur/insulting comeback”

      • brewcrewfan54 - Sep 11, 2013 at 2:20 PM

        That’s the best part about blogs bostonmurph, that the writers will actually respond to comments. I don’t see why you find that humerous at all. Even if you’re criticizing don’t you actually prefer to be able to potentially have a back and forth with the writer to maybe understand his side or explain why yours is better? Or do you just like to criticize without being called out on it?

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Sep 11, 2013 at 2:20 PM

        If you are going to feed a troll, at least wait to feed a decent one. I mean seriously, someone who has to resort to yo mamma jokes?

      • bambam4 - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:35 PM

        Pretty lame Calcaterra. Blogs are a two way street – you put your opinion out there, you have to accept the criticism.

    • jwbiii - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:44 PM

      This is a news aggregator site. What you described is exactly what they do. Calcaterra et al. read a lot of news articles and post those which they consider worth posting here with their commentary.

    • heat256 - Sep 11, 2013 at 2:13 PM

      I wonder if, while wearing your Red Sahx cahp, Notre Dame jersey, and general douchebag townie scruff, do you ever stop and think “Man, I am just a complete and utter tool”! Education and nuance are your friends, Murph. Let them help you.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Sep 11, 2013 at 2:22 PM

        I’m pretty sure you nailed his wardrobe 100%.

    • cur68 - Sep 11, 2013 at 2:26 PM

      I remember you. You’re one of those guys with multiple screen names. You’ve pulled this stunt in the past, IIRC. Post a screed, get Craig to do you the courtesy of answering your inanity (actually, I utterly fail to grasp why he bothers with your ilk, but that’s up to him to address), then mock him for treating you like a person who can be reasoned with. What a wonderful mission in life you have, sir. I’m sure it makes up for utter failure in every other facet of your existence. Your poor parents. What did they do to deserve you?

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 11, 2013 at 3:50 PM

      But that is the unique thing about Blogs.
      You can comment and the writer of said blog sometimes responds. \
      You find this hysterical? I find that odd. I mean…that is one of the things I dig about blogs.
      Perhaps you should choose a different medium from which to gather your baseball news.

  4. m3dman3 - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    Another stupid ARod article, maybe you morons will get lucky enough to get a picture of Tebow wearing an ARod jersey!!! God.

    • Jason @ IIATMS - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:26 PM

      Why is it stupid? Craig is merely reacting and responding to something written by a tremendous stalwart in the baseball-writing world.

      Is it stupid because you don’t like ARod?

    • zzalapski - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:38 PM

      Another stupid ARod article hater, maybe you morons will get lucky enough to get a multibillion-dollar conglomerate to sponsor your blog about reading stuff you don’t like!!! FSM.

    • jwbiii - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:13 PM

      It’s not like you got rickrolled. The title and the lede pretty much tell what you need to know. If you clicked on it, it’s nobody’s fault but you’re own. So who are you calling stupid here?

  5. sycophanticide - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    Why would baseball hate A-rod leading the biggest team in the biggest market with the biggest fan base in the world to the World Series?

    Love him or hate him MLB, he plays for the Yankees. And there aren’t many Yankee fans that will stop watching (and stop spending money) come October if A-rod is tearing the cover off the ball.

  6. MyTeamsAllStink - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    I actually am enjoying seeing ARod still playing basically thumbing his nose at Selig.As much as I dislike AFraud I hate Selig,even more

    • yankeefan50 - Sep 14, 2013 at 9:15 PM

      I find bud Selig’s stance interesting. It is under his watch that this whole steroid usage has occurred. He has not instituted any testing program or done anything other than suspend and fine with drug testing.

      I used to work on Wall Street. e were subject to drug testing. If you failed it was your last minute at work.

      But look at the discrepancy with Pete Rose and Selig. In the NFL Alex Karis bet on games and is in the hall of fame. At least Pete Rose’s numbers are not due to suspect steroid usage.

      The use of steroids by MLB players has tainted the sport. Records set by legitimate athletes have been broken by many accused or proven to have used steroids. Great players like Gehrig, Mays, DiMaggio, Ruth, Marris, Mantle, and others are now sharing their records with drug users. What a legacy Bud Selig!!! At least A rod will not be pushed around by a lack of parity standards. While I do not agree with steroid usage by MLB players, Selig is not handling it with smarts.

  7. Jason @ IIATMS - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    In my levels of hate, Randy Levine is far higher on the hate scale than ARod. And I’m no ARod fan.

  8. coloradogolfcoupons - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    But he IS a Monster. Banned for life, imprisoned, hung by the neck until almost dead, revived, injected with Sodium Pentothal (as a fake out) along with a sleeping agent, and then wake him up in a room designed to resemble the Pearly Gates, with God asking him about PED use.

    Put it on Pay Per View, with the money going to the Hooten Foundation, which Arod ripped off in a big, tragic way.

    “God” should be a good investigative reporter in a good costume and booming voice, grilling Rodriquez for an hour. The truth serum will reveal, once and for all, that the Fraud really IS Satan…or not.

    • Old Gator - Sep 11, 2013 at 2:15 PM

      For everything to be perfect, for A-roid to feel less alone, he only desires a large crowd of spectators the day of his final at-bat to greet him with howls of execration.

      • Gamera the Brave - Sep 12, 2013 at 9:52 AM

        Gator, thanks for the new word (no, not “spectators”)!
        I will, with alacrity, find an excuse to use this word in an email today.
        Probably to my boss, sad to say…

  9. rhmurphy - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    More like immeasurable trolling.

  10. bh192012 - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    “No one is really talking about A-Rod now,”

    Then what the &^%#$ did I just read?

  11. myhawks1976 - Sep 11, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    nagging wives don’t go on this long. what the heck is your theory Craig? he who talks longest is right? good lord, the horse died BEFORE Henry even dreamt of a Model T. STOP KICKING IT! seriously. I’ve never in my life seen someone belabor a topic this badly. guess what…. some people agree with you. some people don’t. and if you think for one solitary second that beating this drum further will make more people agree with you, your as delusional as the man you so vehemently defend. OVERSATURATION. let it go. for the love of god, let it go.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Sep 11, 2013 at 3:05 PM

      I would imagine that people will stop blogging about ARod when writers stop writing new articles about him. That will happen when people cease to be interested in what he does, did, or will do.

      I think the only way to avoid it will be to find one’s own little tube of the interweb and lock the door.

  12. deathmonkey41 - Sep 11, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    Leave the Yankees A-Rod-fueled run alone!!!

  13. sleepyirv - Sep 11, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    A-Rod couldn’t harm the game any more than what Bud Selig does on an average Wednesday.

  14. heat256 - Sep 11, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    I used to care about players gaming the system for an advantage, but when basically EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. of them has done it, I descended into utter indifference. I think we should subject players to a drug draft. At least let us pick the stuff they’re gonna use for them. Pablo Sandoval? you got some man boobs, so let’s subject you to high doses of estrogen! Josh Hamilton? Let’s get you back on the smack, just for fun! The possibilities are endless. And you can get the pharmaceutical companies to smear their logo feces all over that draft.

  15. TheMorningStar - Sep 11, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    ARod is a hero for trying to thwart the Yankee/MLB collusion of eliminating the Yankees enormous 2014 luxury tax hit.

    Every other team should be thanking him.

  16. linhsiu - Sep 11, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    “He’s just a ballplayer.” “… the game is just fine, thank you.”


    You are not welcome…

    The “silly” part is where you argued that Rodriguez is just “a ballplayer”. Rodriguez stopped being just “a ballplayer” long time ago…

  17. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Sep 11, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    Maybe Alex playing does cause harm to the game. Maybe not. The question really should be to what degree of harm is he causing? Over the grand scheme of things, really what is he doing? Is popularity down? Is attendance down? Are there kids giving up baseball in favor for other sports due as a direct result of Alex Rodriguez? And in the end, doesn’t MLB and the players union only have themselves to blame for this entire mess? It was their collective bargaining agreement, their Joint Drug Agreement, and their over reaction and over reach in their direction in the discipline of Alex that caused this entire mess in the first place.

    Not only do we make too much over the “heroes” of baseball, but we also make too much of the history and impurity of the game.

  18. hairpie2 - Sep 11, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    If i was a Yankee* fan i sure wouldnt want him out there representing the team i route for. Anything they do, any success at all will be attributed to the fact they have a cheater that could still be on drugs that give him an unfair advantage against other players. he has nothing to lose so he is probably even more doped up than usual.

    • munsonsgravity - Sep 11, 2013 at 2:54 PM

      More doped up than usual ? Have to agree – the guy is a serial-doper. I wonder what the last season he was clean was ? Never ?

      • coloradogolfcoupons - Sep 11, 2013 at 3:07 PM

        His first year of Pony League, age 13…MAYBE. Selena Roberts says she interviewed players who said he was doping in High School, so it could go back further than that, who knows? With the money at stake, and parents taking their kids to the Biogenesis clinic, in full support of them juicing…is it any wonder that the kids look at $275,000,000 contracts and say “Gimme some of that!”?

        Braun is being sued by a former friend that says he juiced in College. Believable? To me, very much so. High Schoolers? No doubt, and especially football, but baseball and just about ANY sport nowadays. Runners, Bicycle riders, every athlete from East Germany going back to the 60’s-70’s…shit, it would not shock anybody to find tiny gymnasts on the juice. I think by now every sport has been tainted, and no amount of testing has seemed to stem the tide. It might make more sense to just forget about testing and lets see what athletes can do with veins bulging with anything they want to put in their bodies. Just don’t ask us to cry at their funerals.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 11, 2013 at 3:05 PM

      that could still be on drugs

      How is that different from any other team?

  19. iranuke - Sep 11, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    My personal opinion is that the “Black Sox” did not do immesurable harm to the game and A-rod is not that bad.

  20. joestemme - Sep 11, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    F#$$ A-Roid

  21. paulbdotcom - Sep 11, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    How could it harm the game anymore? Really? The list of roid heads is greater than the list of dudes that didn’t use them. Enough with hammering one guy for somthing 90% of the players did, are still doing, and plan on doing in the future.

    • bruininnh1984 - Sep 11, 2013 at 5:12 PM

      for me, my hate for a-rod goes beyond the steriods. it has to do more with his utter lack of respect for the game. what he did in game six of the ALCS in 2004, slapping the ball out of bronson arroyo’s glove running down the first base line, and then acting like he had done nothing wrong tells me all i need to know, or care to know about him as a player. whatever respect i did have for him up until that moment, is gone.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 11, 2013 at 5:39 PM

        What did you think when Dustin Pedroia did the exact same thing, but got 1/100th the media coverage?

    • yankeefan50 - Sep 14, 2013 at 9:23 PM

      I think your data is not accurate.

  22. paperlions - Sep 11, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    Technically, Gammons is correct. The harm, if any, caused by any A-Rod fueled post-season run to baseball in general or specifically to MLB with be so tiny that it will be impossible to measure….and thus, immeasurable.

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  24. giantssb42champs - Sep 11, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    Peter Gammons is alive?

  25. offseasonblues - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:00 PM

    I decided to read the Gammons piece and find out what harm he was talking about. And he’s right that ARod taking the Yankees to the playoffs would be miserable. My guess is more than a few potential fans tuning in will be majorly turned off by “Every important game the Yankees win as September rolls into October will end with a closeup of Alex Rodriguez”. And we’ll all be reminded over and over by his mere presence that ARod obviously has access to something that escapes the current testing, that there’s no reason to think he’s not using it, that proof that he is using is impossible to come by.

    The only prpoblem I have with Gammons is the word irreperable. On that I do agree with Craig (he bats about .300 with me) that the game will survive. But it will be harmed.

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